Open Access – Summer’s Featured Comments

Freshly pressed from Open Access Comments:

1. SOAP study on Open Access Journal Landscape Published

The SOAP (Study of Open Access Publishing) project has analyzed the current supply and demand situation in the open access journal landscape. Starting from the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), several sources of data were considered, including journal websites and direct inquiries within the publishing industry to comprehensively map the present supply of online peer-reviewed OA journals. The demand for open access publishing is summarised, as assessed through a large-scale survey of researchers’ opinions and attitudes. Some forty thousand answers were collected across disciplines and around the world, reflecting major support for the idea of open access, while highlighting drivers of and barriers to open access publishing. Find the entire paper here.

2. British Libraries Pushed Back on Elsevier and Wiley-Blackwell

“Major research libraries in Britain have told the two largest journal publishers that they will not renew their “big deals” with them if they do not make significant real-terms price reductions,” Times Higher Education reports. “Research Libraries UK, which includes the Russell Group university libraries, as well as Britain’s national libraries and Trinity College Library Dublin, have told Elsevier and Wiley-Blackwell that they will not renew their current deals when they expire at the end of this year unless the concession is made.” Such initiatives from libraries following the open access movement are important steps towards fighting the more serious damage done by serials crisis. Elsevier and Wiley-Blackwell declined to comment the entire news that can be found here.

3. Guerrilla Open Access Stunt Performed: Do We Need Such Stunts?

Aaron Swartz was arrested on 19 July 2011, for allegedly harvesting academic journal articles from JSTOR

The most conspicuous event in the media world regarding open access was the one involving Aaron Swartz and supposed stealing of articles from the JSTOR database. From plethora of documents dealing with the topic, including manifestos, revolutionary statements and lawful explanations, I choose this comment by Stuart Shieber in Occasional Pamphlet to reflect on the event: “I believe, as I expect Aaron Swartz does, that we need an editorially sound, economically sustainable, and openly accessible scholarly communication system. We certainly do not have that now. But moving to such a system requires thoughtful efforts, not guerilla stunts.” Shieber strips us of our illusory OA heroes and sets our focus back on the right track. Read the entire pamphlet here.

4. COAPI to Meet for the First Time at the Berlin 9 Conference

The University of Kansas and 21 other universities and colleges announced that they’re joining forces to form the Coalition of Open Access Policy Institutions, or Coapi. “The group will collaborate and share implementation strategies and advocate on a national level for institutions with open access policies,” it was announced at the KU’s news website.Their first next step is a pre-conference meeting at the Berlin 9 Open Access Conference in November in Washington, D.C.

“The formation of COAPI sends a strong signal that higher education institutions increasingly consider providing open access to the scholarship produced on their campus a critical element in achieving their core mission,” said Heather Joseph, executive director of SPARC. COAPI is the first such coalition of institutions practicing open access and it will help in better coordination of advocates on a national level. The coalition includes universities such as MIT, Duke, Harvard, Trinity universities and more.

5. Solomon and Björk published a Study on APC Funds and Factors for Gold OA Journals

David J. Solomon and Bo‐Christer Björk published their research results on APC, or Article Processing Charges, in a paper titled Publication Fees in Open Access Publishing: Sources of Funding and Factors Influencing Choice of Journal. In a survey they made, a sample of which is available here, 429 out of 1,038 authors responded (41%) who recently published articles in 74 OA journals that charge APCs, stratified into seven discipline categories.

In answer to what are the factors influencing authors’ choice of the journal in which they published, Solomon and Björk claim: “Fit, quality, and speed of publication were the most important factors in the authors’ choice of a journal.” Find the entire study here and an overview from InTechWeb blog here.

6. NWO Launched a €1 Million Open Access Fund for Dutch Scientists

The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), the main Dutch science funding body, has launched a €1 million open access fund to help Dutch scientists establish new open access journals or convert existing journals to open access,” STM Publishing News report. “The deadline,” they state, “for submitting proposals is Tuesday 4 October 2011.” Further information regarding this funding can be found at www.nwo.nl/openaccess. NWO thus joins other major European funding bodies in supporting open access in Europe (Open AIRE). Find the entire report here.

7. A Display of Growing Subset of Open Access Content in UK’s Pubmed Central

“In 2001, just 7% of the articles published in that year and added to UK Pubmed Central, were defined as ”open access”,” it is stated on PubMed Central’s blog. “In 2009, 33% of the articles published that year and added to UK PubMed Central were classified as “open access.” Find the graph that displays the growth here.

8. Crisis Comons Wiki on Hurricane Irene – OA Humanitarian Aid

Peter Suber pointed out on his Google+ Profile to Crisis Comons Wiki on Hurricane Irene as the latest example of OA Humanitarian Aid. Check the Crisis Commons site here. For some earlier examples of Open Access action in the times of crisis, read again through Suber’s letter focused on this theme.

9.Creative Commons – A User Guide Released

Simone Aliprandi: Creative Commons - A User Guide

Simone Aliprandi, a lawyer, active in consulting, coaching and in researching the field of copyright and ICT law, a leader of the Copyleft-italia.it Project, has composed a user guide, i.e. a complete manual to the world of Creative Commons licenses.

“Without neglecting useful conceptual clarifications, the author goes into technical details of the tools offered by Creative Commons, thus making them also understandable for total neophytes. This is a fundamental book for all those who are interested in the open content and copyleft world,” the book is introduced.

Of course, thanks to the CC license, it can be downloaded for free from the website.

10. Sparky Award Winners Announced

Open Up! competition was the fourth such competition and four new student films on the importance of Open Access to research and data have been voted the best by a panel of new media experts, students, and librarians.

This year, the judges selected winners in three categories:

Producers of each of the three winning entries will receive an iPad or iPhone along with a Sparky Award statuette. “Special Merit” recognition is also being awarded to: Some Things Shouldn’t Be in Halves produced by Zack McGeehan, Olivia Kimmel, Dimitri Kouri and Jason Weitzman (Boston University). In this clip, students compare limited online access to wearing half a sock or having half a meal to eat.

The organizers of the Sparky Awards now invite students, faculty, librarians, and others on campus — and everywhere — to weigh in for their favorites in the second annual installment of the Sparky People’s Choice Award. To view the entries and vote for your favorite, follow this link.

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